French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian is paying an official two-day visit to Slovenia at the invitation of Slovenian Foreign Minister Dr Anže Logar.
French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Anže Logar.
Minister Le Drian’s official visit reaffirms the shared interest of Slovenia and France in further strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries. This is of particular importance in the light of their successive EU Council presidencies, as Slovenia will pass on the baton to France in the first half of 2022.
“In the talks with his French counterpart, Minister Logar stressed the Slovenian Government’s interest in enhancing bilateral cooperation in the political, economic and other spheres. France is Slovenia’s major economic partner, with the volume of trade exceeding EUR 3 billion and the automotive industry being of strategic importance for both countries. The ministers emphasised the need for Europe’s strategic sovereignty in key areas, and called for a further deepening of bilateral economic relations,” stresses the Slovenian foreign ministry in a statement.
The talks reaffirmed that Slovenia and France share many views on topical European and international issues. Both are staunch advocates of effective multilateralism, and both put high on the agenda the EU’s efforts for resolving the health crisis, ensuring speedy economic recovery, guaranteeing the security of EU citizens, strengthening of EU policies in certain areas and its strong role in the world. Slovenia and France are close allies in the fight against climate change and international terrorism, and have similar views on how to resolve world crises. Successive EU Council presidencies provide an excellent opportunity for even closer cooperation between the two countries.
Ministers Logar and Le Drian devoted special attention to the Conference on the Future of Europe, which is to start this autumn, continue during Slovenia’s presidency and be concluded at the time of France’s presidency. The Conference will give EU citizens an opportunity to co-shape the EU’s future.
The ministers also touched upon the situation in the Western Balkan countries and the EU’s enlargement process, which – as both ministers agreed – is a major incentive for the candidate countries to implement the urgently needed reforms. They went on to call for continued joint EU action to address migration, the common asylum system and effective functioning of the Schengen Area.
Other topics of discussion included current international issues, namely the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, Belarus and Lebanon.
Today, Minister Le Drian will take part in the 24th Consultations of Slovenian Diplomats at Brdo pri Kranju as a prominent foreign guest. His participation is of special importance in the context of Slovenia’s preparations for the EU Council presidency./ibna